Without a doubt, one of the favorite fruits in summer is the melon. These big sweet balls with a lot of water are quite a delicacy, either eaten as is or combined with other foods. Therefore it is not surprising that these fruits are one of the most popular crops during the hottest time of the year. However, we must knowr what melon diseases can appear to detect and combat them in time.
If you like this fruit and want to grow it yourself, it is worth taking a look at this article. We will talk about melon diseases, the pests that can affect them and other alterations that may be related to poor care or environmental alterations.
What diseases does melon have?
Let’s start talking about what interests us most: melon diseases. It should be noted that they can have different causative agents. On the one hand it could be some type of fungus, on the other hand it could be a virus that is affecting the plant. Let’s first see the fungal diseases that usually affect melon crops:
- Mildew y Powdery mildew: These two fungi normally affect the upper part of the leaves. Consequently, white or yellow spots appear that cause the leaves to dry. If it is not treated in time, the plant can end up dying. To combat this fungal disease, it is best to use horsetail slurry, milk fungicide or nettle slurry. In addition, we can apply copper and sulfur.
- Chancre stem gummy: The fungus responsible for this disease accesses the plant through any wound it may have. The visible symptoms of this pathology are the appearance of a light brown lesion on the stems, covered by black dots that are the fungal reproductive organs, and the gummy exudations that appear on the edges of said lesion, although they are not always present. In addition, green leaf spots usually appear that darken over time. When it comes to combating this fungal disease, we can apply a treatment with copper sulfate or bet on natural fungicides, such as nettle purin, nasturtium infusion, horsetail purin or milk fungicide. It is best to spray every eight to ten days.
Oidium: home remedies
Obviously the best is prevent the appearance of fungi. But how do we do it? These pathogens thrive in warm, moist environments. For this reason the location of the plant is important. In addition, an excess of water can be harmful to the plant, not only due to fungi, but also due to root rot. It is also highly recommended that we provide good ventilation to the plant.
As for viral diseases, we can distinguish them by the appearance of yellow chlorotic lesions between the nerves found in the leaves. In this case, the nerves themselves look greener than normal until they rot. In addition, no matter how much we water the plant, its growth will be considerably reduced. In this case, the most advisable thing is to get rid of the affected plant to prevent the virus from spreading or that it drops its “seeds” to the ground, which could affect future crops.
Now that we know about melon diseases, we must bear in mind that there are other forms of life that can attack these plants, such as bugs and parasites. Let’s see what they are The most frequent pests of this crop:
- Red spider: The red spider is very common in summer. It is difficult to see, but it causes the appearance of small yellowish spots on the leaves. In addition, it leaves a type of silk that covers them. See file.
- White fly: Like the red spider, it appears when temperatures are high. We can easily identify them as white dots or by touching the plant and watching how they fly away. When there are one or two whiteflies nothing happens, but when it becomes a plague it is very harmful to the plant, as they extract the sap from it. Consequently, the affected plant becomes ill and may even die. See file.
- Aphid: Typically, aphids appear under leaves and on shoots. These tiny critters spread very quickly, especially in hot weather. For this reason it is essential to act as soon as possible. See file.
- Thrips: They are tiny bugs that scamper through the leaves. They cause stains on the underside of them. See file.
- Caterpillars: Since the caterpillars feed on leaves, shoots and small melons, holes will appear all over the plant. See file.
Other alterations of the melon
When it comes to growing melons, certain alterations may appear that have nothing to do with diseases or pests. They are generally caused by some carelessness on our part that are usually related to the lack or excess of water, electricity or fertilizer. Let’s see the most common cases:
- Deformations: When deformations appear in melons, they can be caused by adverse weather conditions, excess or lack of water or poor pollination.
- sun stroke: If the melons have been exposed to a lot of sun and high temperatures, white spots may appear.
- Riven: Longitudinal cracks sometimes appear in melons. This usually happens when there is an excess of water or sudden changes in environmental humidity. It is more frequent to occur when the maturation time approaches.
- Stains: On some occasions it may happen that brown spots appear on yellow melons. It is usually due to very high humidity levels.
- abortion: We speak of abortion when the fruits do not finish curdling. This can occur due to lack of nutrients, lack of water or lack of pollination.
With all this information about melon diseases, the pests that can affect it and other alterations, we only have to take good care of our crop and be attentive to any signs. Remember that the sooner we detect the problem, the more likely it is that we will be able to save the vegetable.